Bonnie Support Services

Bonnie Support Services

Picturing Home: Tree of Life

Recently Bonnie’s worker Alison, and Ruth from Rosebank CSA ran a fantastic group called ‘Tree of Life’. It was a scrapbooking group that ran over eight weeks, working with seven women who had experienced domestic violence and/or homelessness.

 The Tree of Life process encourages the women to use scrapbooking to speak about their lives differently. By thinking about their roots, skills and knowledge, and hopes and dreams, they strengthen their relationships with their own past, culture and the important people in their lives. Alison tells the story…

post-scrapbooking1Some of the women didn’t have any photos or precious things because they’d had to leave their homes abruptly, so we had a photographer come at the beginning and take portraits of them. Other women had a small collection of current and older photos. When they saw each other’s photos, the women started sharing stories of a simpler time, reminiscing and reflecting.

As the sessions started, the women quickly settled in to the space and began to create their unique albums. They started to connect with each other as the weeks passed and they discovered each other’s struggles, achievements and wisdom. The group became a safe space to relinquish the outside world, where women nurtured and supported each other.

It was very gentle and quiet. The emotions we’re working with can be intense, but the space was so peaceful when the women were scrapbooking.

At the end of the eight weeks, each woman left with a family album for themselves and their children. We have a lot of women at Bonnie’s who have just moved in to a new house, or are about to. Over the sessions, they had time to reflect on what ‘home’ meant to them, and to think about what kind of new homes they wanted to create.

By Alison

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